If you’re someone who thinks that democracy works best when citizens and their representatives take time to deliberate (i.e. reason and think together), then a new Fox News/Bing collaboration will not excite you.
Bing is teaming up with Fox News to bring State of the Union viewers an interactive experience with real-time polling and social media aggregation.
The project is spearheaded by Microsoft’s Mark Penn, the Democratic strategist and pollster, and promises to meet the “growing need for up-to-the-minute political information and second-screen experiences that are a great companion to political broadcasts.”
Bing Pulse will allow anyone to vote every five seconds on their feelings about the address and the results will be shown live on the site and on Fox News Channel.
“We think this will be the largest live online poll in history,” Penn writes in an announcement of the project.
It’s also history’s most useless poll. Allowing people “to vote every five seconds on their feelings” about a message as they’re hearing it would be great if we wanted to know people’s reactions to words instead of sentences. It’s bad enough that most political dialogue has been reduced to competing sound bites. But at least sound bites are designed to trigger reactions based on thoughts. From Penn’s description, this new venture is tracking little more than raw emotion in five second intervals.